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Super 8 Baseball Projection, Version 5.0

Each Monday in the month of May, ESPNBoston.com has released its projections for the field of eight in the MIAA Division 1A "Super Eight" State Tournament, right up to the official selection.

Tonight at 6 p.m., the Super 8 selection committee will meet and seed the eight-team field. Before the selection goes down, here is our fifth and final projection of the eight-team field.

Click here for previous projections: Version 4.0 | Version 3.0 | Version 2.0 | Version 1.0

Be sure to follow us all night long for updates and analysis of the selection meeting, then throughout the duration of the tournament for nightly updates and leaderboards.

1. BOSTON COLLEGE HIGH

Record: 16-4

ESPNBoston Rank: 1

League: Catholic Conference

District: Division 1 South

Key Wins: Xaverian (1-0), Malden Catholic (4-2, 1-0), St. John’s Prep (7-0, 7-2), Chelmsford (5-2), Wachusett (10-0), Lowell (8-1), St. John’s (S) (5-0), Lincoln-Sudbury (7-2), Silver Lake (3-1)

Key Losses: St. John’s (S) (3-1), Braintree (3-2), Xaverian (2-1, 8 inn.), Newton North (9-2)

Last 5 Games: 4-1

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 7-1

Record vs. Division 1: 15-4

Players to Watch: Mike Vasil, Soph. RHP; Henry Ennen, Sr. RHP; Joe Roddy, Sr. 3B; Pat Rafferty, Sr. SS; Nick Viscariello, Sr. 2B; Austin LeBlanc, Sr. C/DH; Brendan McDonald, Sr. C

Outlook: BC High finished off a stellar regular season with a 3-1 win over Silver Lake on Friday, all but guaranteeing the Eagles will land the top spot in the eight team field to be selected on Monday. Ennen continued his terrific second half of the season on Friday night, going seven innings while giving up just one run and striking out 10. Combine the Eagles top-of-the-line rotation with their infield defense and they are arguably the most fundamentally sound team in the field. While the Eagles may be the favorite going into the tournament, one thing that remains to be seen is whether BC High’s bats heat up at the right time, because if they do they will be almost impossible to dethrone.

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2. ST. JOHN’S OF SHREWSBURY

Record: 18-4

ESPNBoston Rank: 2

League: Central Mass. Conference

District: Division 1 Central

Key Wins: BC High (3-1), Wachusett (7-5), Xaverian (6-0), St. Peter-Marian (7-5), St. John’s Prep (5-4, 11-0)

Key Losses: Pope Francis (2-1), BC High (5-0), St. Peter-Marian (4-1), Wachusett (4-3)

Last 5 Games: 4-1

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 3-1

Record vs. Division 1: 17-3

Players to Watch: Jared Wetherbee, Sr. LHP; Ian Seymour, Sr. LHP; Jake Rosen, Sr. SS; Jack Gardner, Sr. C; Sam Shaw, Sr. OF; Derek Lefebvre, Sr. 2B;

Outlook: The Pioneers appeared to be on their way to competing for the top spot in the field before a tough 4-3 loss to Wachusett set them back. Still, the Pioneers did not get flustered, and rebounded quickly with an 11-0 pounding of St. John’s Prep on Thursday to solidify their standing as our pick for the No. 2 seed. Do not let the lack of depth on the Pioneers roster (16 kids) fool you -- this is a team with a deep lineup, highlighted by Gardner and the Virginia Tech-bound Rosen at the top of the order. In order for the Pioneers to make a serious run at a Super 8 title, however, they will need pitchers not named Jared Wetherbee or Ian Seymour to rise to the occasion.

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3. XAVERIAN

Record: 15-5

ESPNBoston Rank: 3

League: Catholic Conference

District: Division 1 South

Key Wins: Newton North (3-0), St. John’s Prep (4-0), Malden Catholic (11-2, 14-2), BC High (2-1, 8 inn.), Walpole (4-1, 11 inn.) Plymouth North (3-2, 10 inn.), Norwood (13-1), Bishop Hendricken (10-9)

Key Losses: BC High (1-0), Norwood (1-0), Catholic Memorial (6-0), St. John’s (S) (6-0), St. John’s Prep (9-4)

Last 5 Games: 5-0

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 5-3

Record vs. Division 1: 13-5

Players to Watch: Blake DeCarr, Sr., P/3B; Zack Sette, Sr., P/1B; Troy Shepherd, Sr., 2B; Bryan Hart, Sr., SS; Dan Chapski, Sr., P; AJ Ryan, Jr., OF; Colby Lewis, Sr., P/OF;

Outlook: Xaverian appears to be playing its best baseball at the right time. After coming off a stretch in which they did not play for nine straight days, the Hawks have won four in a row. During that stretch the Hawks have quality wins over Silver Lake, Norwood, and Rhode Island juggernaut Bishop Hendricken, while producing eight or more runs in all three games. Lewis and Chapski have established themselves as reliable arms behind their ace DeCarr, and the bats of Hart and Shepherd have come alive at the plate. There is no question that the most formidable opponent to the likes of BC High and St. John’s of Shrewsbury heading into the tournament are the Hawks.

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4. ST. JOHN’S PREP

Record: 14-6

ESPNBoston Rank: 4

League: Catholic Conference

District: Division 1 North

Key Wins: Newton North (6-2), Xaverian (9-4), Lincoln-Sudbury (5-2), Swampscott (7-3), Malden Catholic (4-3, 8 inn.), St. Peter-Marian (8-4), Chelmsford (10-1), Walpole (3-1)

Key Losses: BC High (7-0, 7-2), Xaverian (4-0), Malden Catholic (7-2), St. John’s Shrewsbury (11-0, 5-4)

Last 5 Games: 4-1

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 4-4

Record vs. Division 1: 11-6

Players to Watch: Jacob Yish, Sr. OF; Andrew Selima, Jr. 1B; Michael Yarin, Soph. 3B; Jack Arend, Sr. C; Colin Nye, Sr. RHP; Brendan Powicki, Sr. RHP; Jacob Spada, Sr. INF; Chris Francoeur, Jr. INF, Frank DiOrio, Jr. OF, Sean McGinnis, Sr. 1B

Outlook: Despite an 11-0 pounding at the hands of St. John’s Shrewsbury, the Eagles still took care of business against St. Peter-Marian last Saturday and Marblehead on Sunday. Overall, the Eagles possess a fairly impressive resume with road wins over the Guardians, Newton North, Xaverian, Malden Catholic, and Walpole which -- more than anything else -- is the main reason we feel comfortable giving them the last “top four” spot in our projection. There is no question that the Prep’s strength is its offense; Yarin is already considered one of the state's top offensive threats as just a sophomore. Nye and Powicki spearhead the Eagles’ rotation, but they will need big time performances out of Chris Murphy and Casey Bussone on the mound if they hope to compete with their Catholic Conference counterparts.

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5. BRAINTREE

Record: 15-5

ESPNBoston Rank: 17

League: Bay State Conference

District: Division 1 South

Key Wins: BC High (3-2), Newton North (3-2), Walpole (5-1), Needham (1-0)

Key Losses: Newton North (2-1), Norwood (4-0), Needham (6-5), Dedham (12-2), Brookline (3-2)

Last 5 Games: 5-0

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 1-0

Record vs. Division 1: 15-4

Players to Watch: Scott Creedon, Sr. RHP; Zach Delvecchio, Sr. RHP; Kyle Gray, Soph. RHP; Erik MacDonald, Sr. OF; Mitch Baker, Sr. C; Alex Kennedy, Sr. INF/OF

Outlook: The Wamps were left for dead a little less than a month ago after a loss to Brookline marked their fourth loss over five games. Since then, however, the Wamps have shown that they still have that same competitive heart that won them the Division 1A title just one year ago. Braintree finished the regular season winners of nine straight, including key victories over Bay State rivals Newton North (3-2) and Walpole (5-1). Combine their recent run with an early-season win over No. 1 BC High, and the Wamps seem like a near-certainty for a Super 8 bid.

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6. LINCOLN-SUDBURY

Record: 17-4

ESPNBoston Rank: 8

League: Dual County League

District: Division 1 North

Key Wins: Waltham (5-1), Acton-Boxborough (18-8, 9-0), Franklin (5-2)

Key Losses: St. John’s Prep (5-2), BC High (7-2), Waltham (10-2), Natick (5-3)

Last 5 Games: 4-1

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-2

Record vs. Division 1: 13-3

Players to Watch: Chris Galland, Sr. OF; Scott Holzwasser, Sr. INF; Jonathan Rowe, Sr. INF; Thomas Garcia-Meitin, Sr. INF; Ian Herel, Sr. 3B/RHP; Ryan Cusick, Soph. RHP; Drew Baker, Sr. OF; Alex Dillon, Sr. OF; Rory Bordiuk, Soph. INF

Outlook: This is where the fun begins, as the last three spots in the eight-team field all seem up for grabs. Just based on raw talent and veteran experience, we are going with the Warriors here, but do not be surprised if Plymouth North, Pope Francis, or even Billerica overtakes the Warriors for the No. 6 spot. One tough barrier that the Warriors will have to overcome is their lack of wins over quality opponents; they fell in their two big matchups of the year versus St. John’s Prep and BC High. If they are able to clinch a spot in the field, however, the Warriors are not one to be taken lightly. Holzwasser and Galland are two of the top bats in the Bay State, while Cusick is a legitimate staff ace.

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7. POPE FRANCIS

Record: 17-3

ESPNBoston Rank: 6

League: Valley League

District: Division 1 West

Key Wins: St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (2-1), Taconic (3-2), Minnechaug (8-6, 2-1), East Longmeadow (3-0, 8 inn.)

Key Losses: Westfield (6-5, 9 inn.), Northampton (12-4), Holyoke (6-3)

Last 5 Games: 5-0

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-0

Record vs. Division 1: 17-3

Players to Watch: Cam Griffin, Sr. OF; Kris Alvarado, Jr. INF/RHP; Cam Niemiec, Jr. RHP; Will Kennedy, Sr. 1B; Chris Harvey, Sr. OF; Joe Gagnon, Sr. INF

Outlook: After falling to Westfield 6-5, the Cardinals were on the brink of not making the eight-team field altogether. By winning out and taking care of business, however, the Cardinals are on the verge of becoming the first Western Mass. team to earn a bid in the Super 8. The Cardinals showed their poise on Thursday, breaking through for three runs in the top of the eighth to snap a scoreless tie against East Longmeadow. Cam Griffin has become one of the top all-around outfielders in the Bay State, while Cam Niemiec has risen to the occasion multiple times on the mound. Should the Cardinals in fact earn a bid, there is no question that they have the ability to compete with the best Eastern Mass. has to offer.

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8. PLYMOUTH NORTH

Record: 16-4

ESPNBoston Rank: 11

League: Patriot League

District: Division 2 South

Key Wins: Silver Lake (4-0, 2-1), Barnstable (2-0), Whitman-Hanson (2-0), Bridgewater-Raynham (4-3)

Key Losses: Whitman-Hanson (8-5), Duxbury (5-4), Hingham (6-4), Xaverian (3-2, 10 inn.)

Last 5 Games: 3-2

Record vs. Catholic Conference: 0-1

Record vs. Division 1: 4-1

Players to Watch: Colin Nicklas, Sr. RHP/IF; Cam Drew, Sr. OF/RHP; Donnie Cohoon, Sr. 3B; Spencer Potter, Sr., IF/OF;

Outlook: The eighth and final spot is anyone’s for the taking. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Billerica or Silver Lake leap-frog Plymouth North here. We are going with the Blue Eagles here, though, due to their sweep of Silver Lake during the regular season as well as their high quality pitching and defense. After falling to Duxbury 5-4, the Eagles rebounded to knock off patriot league foe Quincy before shutting out Silver Lake 4-0 that included a no-hitter from Colin Nicklas. Even without ace Joe Walsh due to injury, Dwayne Follette’s club has still proven an ability to compete with some of the best. Not long after shutting down Walsh for the season, they took No. 3 Xaverian to the 10th inning before ultimately falling, 3-2.

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IN THE HUNT:

Billerica (17-5)

Silver Lake (17-5)